A water pump has a very specific and important job to do in keeping an engine cool. The water pump brings water or coolant to the radiator which in turn helps keep the engine working properly. Some water pumps use water, but most modern cars use some form of artificial coolant. Each brand of car has a different kind of pump, and so not all coolant works in all kinds of cars.
The water pump is generally located close to the radiator. Sometimes it is under a cover, but other times it is not. There are several ways in which it is possible to tell if a water pump needs repair. One of the best ways to tell is to check the tubes between the pump and the radiator. If there is coolant leaked out on the outside of the tubes, or if the tubes appear corroded in any way, then it is likely that the pump needs replacing. Another way to tell if the pump should be replaced is to check under the car for water and coolant drips.
The water pump is a very important part of the car. Without it the engine would overheat much more quickly, and the engine would have to be replaced. Replacing the engine is very expensive, so that makes the water pump even more important. A bad water pump can really devalue a car very quickly because of all the problems that it creates.
Fixing a bad water pump does not have to take a long time. Usually if a car repair shop is not swamped with work then they can have it fixed in the same day you bring the car in. However, for some cars, special parts have to be ordered. This would change the amount of time necessary to replace the pump, because the car place would have to wait for the part to arrive before beginning work on the pump.
There are some quick fixes that can be used to keep a faulty pump working longer. It is possible to put some pepper in with the coolant to make it leak less. It is also possible to put raw egg in the tank as well. However, these fixes should be used only for very short periods of time. Replace the water pump as soon as possible to avoid major trouble with other parts of the vehicle.